christmas, family, house, suburbs

Why I Can’t Have Nice Things

Last spring, because I am nothing if not original, I gave the girls a “Frozen” themed birthday party.

This was not a Pinterest party; this was all me. I don’t even remember how much input I had from the girls, because I had a vision, you see. A snowflake filled vision.

Whether it started as a snowflake-filled-vision or morphed into one I’m not sure. When I began the decoration part of the process I wasn’t sure how to properly make a snowflake. I couldn’t remember how it was done back in the day, what with all the song lyrics and random Friends references cluttering up my brain.

But Google came through for me and I found a simple snowflake tutorial. And thus became obsessed with making snowflakes.

On the day of the party, my friends (it was a family friendly party — the best kind) commented on the snowflakes — comments which I took to be compliments at the time due to my snowflake induced fervor. “I made them all by hand!” I responded way too enthusiastically. Being the good friends they are, they would each respond with the polite but non-commital, “Oh – wow…”

It’s OK; I don’t need anyone to understand my art.

Call it a consequence of time or of pride, but those decorations stayed up for a week or two after the party. When I took the snowflakes down, I removed them each with the loving care they deserved. And I saved them in a crisp manila envelope. You never know when you might need a stack of hand-cut paper snowflakes. Not one was like another, you know.


Fast forward to this past Christmas when I was running a little short on holiday decor for our home. What’s more perfect than snowflakes, right?! And those girls of mine were eager to decorate so we got to it.

We used glue dots for the birthday party but we had attached the snowflakes to other things, like streamers and a plastic tablecloth used as a picture backdrop (See? Original). Glue dots on my walls obviously wouldn’t work, so I found the sticky-tack I’d purchased at the grocery store that never really got used for anything else. After all, sticky-tack never failed me as a teenager when I wall-papered my bedroom with NKOTB posters.

I set the girls loose, armed with sticky-tack and minimal directions — I’d pointed out a couple of walls that needed a little extra “something”. My husband supervised and helped when their fine motor skills weren’t quite enough to pull off pieces of sticky tack.

They created a lovely winter wonderland with my precious snowflakes. Some areas weren’t as symmetrical as I might have preferred, but they had fun in the process and that’s what counts. I enjoyed seeing my creations again and was proud of our very personalized Christmas decor.

And I keep trying to remind myself of that.

You see, the gobs of sticky-tack I’d used as a teen had been on walls of paneling, not of painted dry wall. Paneling is not very porous. Painted dry wall? More porous than I’d considered. Which meant that when it was time to finally remove my precious snowflakes, the sticky-tack wasn’t going anywhere.

This is why I can’t have nice things. 

The snowflakes have been removed, but what remains are many white dots on my sand colored walls. Walls that were brand spanking new when we moved in to this house five years ago.

But you know, it was really time to paint the walls anyway…

If you look closely, you can see the little white dots of sticky-tack that will live forever.

2 thoughts on “Why I Can’t Have Nice Things

  1. Hahaha! This reminds of when we moved into our new house 7 years ago! Everything was brand-spanking new and someone commented (I don’t remember who), “wonder who’s going to make the first scratch, ding, stain and christen your new house?” Sure enough, the 2nd day, our cat, Coco, knocked a heavy glass canister off the end of our kitchen counter onto our beautiful dark wood floors, leaving permanent gashes that are glaringly visible to this day! I knew immediately that’s why I can’t have nice things – our cat, a boy named Coco! The other day I was closing the blinds in our kitchen nook and noticed huge blood stains midway up our floor-length drapes! What the heck? I yelled for my husband and said “are you hurt? There’s blood everywhere up-and-down the side of this curtain!” He said Coco must have scratched him and he didn’t notice, even as he’s closing the blinds. So, in addition to my own not-so-well-though-out blunders, I have a cat (and a husband) who are good at keeping nice things in check!

    1. Ha! Yes – it is always something, isn’t it? Within our first year in this house my hubby and I were rearranging the office and caused a huge scrape in the wood floor. We really can’t have nice things.

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